Vertical Facelift

Doctors, Will a vertical facelift make the face look more nature and last longer? 

Doctor Answers 17

Vertical facelift

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The result of a facelift as well as how much it lasts will depend on a variety of factors.  Once you choose the right certified plastic surgeon, he will be able to suggest what is the best technique for you.  Do keep in mind that genetics, sun exposure, lack of sleep, too much stress, constant weight changes, will all influence the result of a facelift.

Costa Rica Plastic Surgeon

Vertical Direction more Natural and Longer Lasting in a Facelift

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Dear t.kathy02-


In general, plastic surgeons will want to redirect your tissues in a direction, or vector, to achieve the most youthful and rejuvenating result.  In the past, this direction was towards the side.  With more modern techniques, this direction is definitely more vertical-  more up, as opposed to the side. 

Every facelift is individualized, but in general, to get the most natural result, the SMAS and the skin are repositioned in an upward fashion. 

The longevitiy of your facelift is based on your direction, along with the technique used and how quickly your body ages.  We can turn back the hands of time, but the clock keeps on ticking!


Best Wishes,

Roy Kim, MD

Roy Kim, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Vertical face lift

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Most face lifts performed  should have a vector of pull that is more vertical than horizontal - so there is really nothing novel or unique about a vertical face lift

Below is an example of a vertical lift

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Vertical facelifts.

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Facelifts have gone through some dramatic changes in the last decade or two.  Years ago a typical facelift pulled the skin backward with only a small degree of elevation.  Today a facelift should be more directed in a vertical  fashion, which gives a  more natural look.  This concept will improve the neck, face and eyes in a much more balanced way.  Your surgeon will talk more about this in the future.

Vertical facelift

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There is no standard facelift that fits all patients. Anyone saying that the vertical lift the answer is pure marketing gimmick. The vectors of lift must be individualized along with other ancillary procedures that may be needed. In general in a multiplane lift some of the layers may be vectored posterosuperiorly while others more vertically. The key is to get a natural look that may vary from patient to patient. Get several opinions.

Andrew Pichler, MD
Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon

Is a vertical facelift right for you?

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There are many different types of facelift procedures. Some are simple while others are more complex. The goal of any facelift should be to leave the patient with a "balanced" youthful and rested appearance. Unfortunately "balanced" is a highly marketed catch word and may mean different things to different people. A "vertical" lift describes a direction of pull. It usually describes the direction of pull of the intermediate layers of tissue beneath the skin, often described as the "SMAS". You can think of it like a bed (the facial skeleton), the blankets (the SMAS) and the bedspread (the skin). The best facelifts lift the bedspread, tighten the blanket and the gently spread the bedspread back over the bed and blankets. Thus, the "tightening" of a facelift occurs beneath the skin. That way the skin is not "pulling" the rest of the face, which can give a pulled un-balanced appearance. When the SMAS is lift in a vertical direction it tends to give a more natural appearance.

Longevity and Natural Appearance after Facelift

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The direction of vectors of movement of muscle and skin are individualized for each patient depending on their particular needs. While a long lasting natural result is the goal of all cosmetic surgery, one technique is not better than another in all patients.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Will a vertical face Lift make the face appear more youthful?

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 I have performed Face Lifts for over 20 years and the most important factor making the face appear more youthful after a Face Lift is the creation of the proper aesthetic shape to the midface.  Period!  The vector of pull, the layer of pull and the amount of tissue pull are all far less important, IMHO.  If the face has an aesthetically attractive and naturally beautiful shape when the Face Lift is's a winner, if can be downright scarry looking.  Don't fall prey to the latest, mindless Face Lift gimmick.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

The power and natural look of the Short-Scar Vertical Facelift

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The Short Scar Vertical Facelift was introduced over ten years ago by Drs. Tonnard and Verpaele from Belgium. Their experience with this technique has shown that it provides a very natural and lasting facelift for most people. The advantages of a Short Scar Vertical Facelift include a very natural and less distorted look to the face because the tension or vectors of the lift are purely vertical, almost as if you look in the mirror and lift your face with your fingers. The traditional facelift pulls the structures further back towards the ears which flattens and widens the face. The Vertical Facelift is a safe technique which involves less dissection and trauma to the underlining tissues of the face or neck. The Vertical Facelift has the advantage of not removing any of the area of the temporal hairline and can be repeated over time, with the least amount of distortion. When combined with other facial rejuvenation procedures, such as endoscopic browlift, blepharoplasty and liposuction surgery. My findings are that the Vertical Facelift is a powerful and enduring technique that is well accepted by my patients. 

Edward Szachowicz, MD, PhD
Minneapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 14 reviews


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Having a facelift can and should be a very positive experience in a persons life.  There is truly an art to this procedure.  The goal should be to restore one's face to a more youthful version.  The direction of lift in most cases is vertical, restoring the volume that has fallen over time to its original position but this should be tailored to the specific needs of the individual. Often times the procedures that are promoted with minimal downtime don't fully address the problem and can lead to an abnormal direction of "pull" and unsatisfactory results.  It is important to choose your surgeon carefully.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.